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A man with a big heart

Nwankwo Kanu is an incredible person. 
542 people – so much saved the fund of one of the best African football players of Nwankwo Kanu for all time of its existence. The nigiri has been helping people with heart problems for more than 10 years, because he knows how it is like no one else.
In the summer of 1996, Kanu went to the Summer Olympics as part of the Nigerian national team. For him, this tournament was triumphant – the homeland team returned with the gold of the Olympic Games. That same summer the Nigerian moved from “Ajax” to “Inter”. Kanu was supposed to fly to the camp immediately after the physical examination, but he was told that he was not going anywhere and should stay in the hotel. Later it turned out that the Italian physician Pietro Volpi, during the examination, heard strange heart murmurs uncharacteristic of a healthy person, so he insisted on an additional examination. Suspicions were confirmed – Kahn had a complicated heart disease. 

In October, the Nigerian went to an operation in Cleveland, one of the best clinics in the world. All the expenses were incurred by Inter. The four-hour operation to replace the aortic valve was successful, after which a long recovery process began, which took Kan 14 months. After that, the Nigerian played football for 16 more years. 

“This situation changed my view of the world,” Kanu told The Telegraph. – If you were not in the hospital, you really do not understand what is happening there. I realized that life is given for more – you can help others. I know this pain, which I experienced as an adult. Imagine what the children are – they are even more difficult. 

Kanu decided to help those who are experiencing the same experience that he himself, so in 2000 he founded his own “Heart of the Heart of Kanu” with his own money and built five cardiac centers in Nigeria. All collected funds are used to pay for expensive operations, which are carried out in the best clinics in England, India and Sudan. 

In the hotel, where the Nigerian national team stayed before the African Nations Cup in the winter of 2000, a woman with a child in her arms flew. She begged Kahn to save her seriously ill daughter – a little girl needed an expensive operation, money for which the family did not have. According to her, the football player was their last chance to live, therefore, after learning about the creation of the “Heart of Kanu” Foundation, she tracked down the Nigerian national team and decided to address him personally. 

At one point the girl collapsed to the floor. 

“I still remember this terrible scream. We had to take her and immediately run to the hospital. Thank God she did not die. In the hospital, I promised the woman that the first child we will help is her daughter, “Kanu recalled. 

And it turned out: after some time, Aniton went to the operation in London. Everything went well, and now the girl is already finishing university. 

Since then, the fund has saved 541 more people. 

“We do not stop,” Kanu said. – Last week, four patients went to Sudan, their operations were successful. Six more are just going to go to the hospital. 

The Kanu Foundation cooperates with hospitals, checks everything and interacts with the parents of sick children in every possible way. The main goal for Nwankwo at the moment is to create own cardiology centers in Africa that will hold heart operations for children under 12 years free of charge, and adults – partially at the expense of the fund. 
“As a football player, you win trophies and feel good. But saving lives is much more important, – he admitted in an interview with The Telegraph. “They call me a legend, but that does not mean that after my career I should go on vacation, drink champagne and watch TV.” 
In 2011, Kanu received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement award for his charity work.

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